Parents' Guide to

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violent seafaring sequel is complex but rewarding adventure.

Game Linux, Mac, Windows 2018
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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This sea-based role playing game deciphers the mystery of just how to improve on the original without losing sight of why it struck a chord with the audience to begin with. Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire handles this tricky balance with both style and substance; it takes the core mechanics that players loved in the first game, adds a seafaring ship and crew to the experience, and tosses all of that into an open world which players can explore pretty much as they see fit. All of this makes for an even richer and deeper role-playing game which, thanks to a continued focus on freedom of choice, crafts a more personal story for the player.

While Deadfire is a unquestionably rewarding to fans of the genre, it's not exactly welcoming to newcomers. There are a lot of nuances involved in the game's actions, with a lot of emphasis on character stats, modifiers, etc. Sorting through classes, subclasses, party members, ship skills and crew, and other details is a complex, detail-oriented task, and the game falls a bit short in helping ease players into it. Veterans of old school pen-and-paper tabletop role-playing games should feel right at home with this sort of core mechanic. But that feature of Deadfire can be a bit overwhelming to anyone thinking they can jump into this game expecting a more casual adventure.

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